Purpose: to help the children relate to the idea of God as our nourisher and provider – He is the bread of life.
Start with a make-your-own snack today – cinnamon rolls
This lesson teaches the children that the Bible calls God our bread, so I opted to begin the lesson by allowing them to make their own homemade rolls from pre-made bread dough. Our children’s church happens in the Fellowship Hall of the church, right off the kitchen, so it’s easy to make snacks onsite as part of the lesson.
Since I’m an avid baker, I already keep the basic bread-making staples on hand which makes this an inexpensive snack. It also offers an interactive opportunity for the children since they will be shaping their own rolls. I taught this lesson in October so there was an abundance of fresh apples at very reasonable prices (I already had a large quantity on hand to make applesauce so there was no extra cost for children’s church.)
I made a batch of bread dough ahead of time so it was ready as soon as we got into children’s church. While the children washed their hands, my helpers divided the dough so each child had a piece to shape. They flattened their dough on a plate, brushed on a little softened butter, sprinkled on cinnamon-sugar, added a few diced apples and rolled it up jellyroll style so it made a 3 to 4-inch log (about the thickness of a marker, depending on the size of the apple chunks). Then they coiled the log so it made a circle and placed their finished roll on a greased cookie sheet. Each child marked their roll with a toothpick “flag” (a toothpick with a small piece of foil at the top. Their names were embossed on the foil with a pencil.) We baked them in a 400 degree oven until golden brown.
When the rolls are in the oven, begin the story time
Story: Use the 10 to 20 minutes while the bread bakes to talk about how every culture has some form of bread.
Have children name as many kinds as they can – French croissants, English muffins, Irish soda bread, Mexican tortillas, Jewish unleavened bread, etc. whole wheat, rye, pumpernickel, etc. You might also want to have samples available if you have any varieties on hand.
The Bible talks a lot about bread – you can briefly talk about several stories or choose just one.
1. There’s manna, the God bread given to the children of Israel in the wilderness.
The people of Israel called the bread manna. It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey.
2. God provided Elijah with bread. 1 Kings 17:1-6
The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.
3. The tabernacle furniture (table for the Bread of Presence) Exodus 25:30
Put the bread of the Presence on this table to be before me at all times.
4. Passover – Exodus 12:8
That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast.
1. The little boy’s loaves and fish. Matthew 14:16-20
And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people.
2. The day I taught this lesson, we served communion so I reviewed what the communion bread meant with them Matthew 26:26
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”
Memory verse: John 6:35
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. (NIV)
Serve snack when it’s done baking.
Suggested Activities to complement the lesson:
- Edible play dough – Recipes available online http://www.familycorner.com/family/kids/crafts/edible_play_dough.shtml
- Bread Clay – Recipes available online Bread dough beads http://crafts.kaboose.com/bread-dough-beads.html
- Make bread in a bag: http://pbskids.org/zoom/activities/cafe/breadinabag.html
- Coloring sheets that go with the lesson (Google the key words “bread coloring pages”)